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London’s SMEs failing to capitalise on smartphone shopping boom

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New research released today shows that London’s small businesses are continuing to lose sales by not offering websites that adapt for easy use on smartphones.

Now in its third year, PayPal’s mobile commerce research reveals a vast gap between consumer expectations and what small businesses provide: while 9 out of 10 small businesses with mobile websites think that they offer customers a good experience, only 4 out of 10 consumers agree. Despite 42% of people buying on mobile at least once a week, rising to 65% for consumers age 25–34, it remains a blind spot for small businesses.

Small businesses in the capital are faring among the worst, with just 13% offering mobile-friendly websites – a drop of four percentage points since 2017. This is despite London also being the top global city for mobile transactions.

The annual research has also found an increase in consumer confidence when spending on mobile, with shoppers willing to spend more than £100 in an average mobile transaction – up from £80 in 2017. In a nod to the changing retail landscape, 22% of consumers said they prefer shopping on their mobile rather than the high street, a figure that has more than doubled since 2016; and 30% of consumers said they expected to shop on mobile more often in the next year.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Longfield, Director of Small Business at PayPal UK, said:

“With people increasingly shopping on their mobile phones, small businesses need to wake up to the fact that there is still a large gap between what customers want, and what they are receiving. If websites remain difficult to use, small businesses will simply miss out on sales.

“There are relatively easy fixes that business owners can make to get more mobile sales. For instance, offering mobile-friendly payment options like PayPal, so that customers don’t have to enter lengthy card details, and formatting websites for scrolling without needing to zoom in can make a huge difference.”

PayPal’s mobile experts offer three top tips for small businesses looking to sell on mobile:

  • Small screen, big results: 47% of consumers admit to having abandoned mobile purchases because the experience was too slow or difficult. Making sure your website is easy and quick to use on small screens will cut down on lost sales.
  • Need for speed: Almost a third (32%) of shoppers opt for mobile over any other device because of the speed of use. Offering a quick and simple way to pay, like PayPal One Touch™, speeds up the checkout process and can turn browsers into buyers.
  • Trust pays off: 56% of mobile shoppers say they are more likely to purchase from websites that offer a recognised payment method. Capitalising on that trust by including options such as PayPal can help secure sales.




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